Institute of Historical Research

Officers of the Green Cloth: Clerks and Clerk Comptrollers

Provisional Lists 1485 - 1646 compiled by J.C. Sainty June 1999

Clerks and Clerk Comptrollers of the Green Cloth

By 1485 there were regularly two clerks of accounts, known familiarly as Clerks of the Green Cloth, and one Clerk, or Chief Clerk, Comptroller attached to the counting house. (1) This arrangement probably endured until 1539-40 when, apparently as part of the general reform of the Household, the Chief Clerk Comptroller was replaced by two Clerks of equal standing. (2) In principle the establishment consisted of two Clerks and two Clerk Comptrollers thereafter but there were exceptions. Mary appointed three of each at her accession in 1553, the additional clerks being dispensed with by the time of her death. (3) Elizabeth acted similarly on her accession but at an unknown date before 1588 she had also dispensed with the additional clerks. (4) Towards the end of the reign it apparently became the practise for one of the Clerks of the Green Cloth to be designated Master of the Household an office which re-emerged as a distinct post in the following reign.

From 1540 the Clerks and Clerk Comptrollers received salaries of £44 6s 9d. (5)

Henry VII

By 1492

Spelman, John

Clerk Comptroller; accounted for Comptroller 30 Sept. 1492-30 Sept. 1493 (E 101/413/9).

 

By 1500

Hatteclyffe, William

Occ. as Clerk of Accounts 13 Sept. 1498 (CPR 1494-1509, p. 159); as undesignated officer of counting house (probably Clerk of Green Cloth) in funeral list 11 May 1509 (LP, I, 20 p. 17).

 

By 1509

Bountayn, John

Occ. as undesignated officer of counting house (probably Clerk of Green Cloth) in funeral list 11 May 1509 (LP, i, 20 p. 17).

 

By 1509

Micklow, John

Occ. as undesignated officer of counting house (probably Clerk Comptroller) in funeral list 11 May 1509 (LP,i, 20 p. 17).

Henry VIII

1509

Hatteclyffe, William

Apparently continued as Clerk of Green Cloth on accession; occ. as undesignated officer of counting house (probably Clerk of Green Cloth) in coronation list 24 June 1509 (LP, i, 82 p. 39).

Occ. as Clerk of Green Cloth from 28 Apr. 1512 (ibid., 1172(12)) to 29 July 1518 (ibid. 1172(12); ibid. ii, 4333).

D. 10 Nov. 1518/18 mar. 1519 (HP 1509-58, ii, 318).

 

1509

Micklow, John

Apparently continued as Clerk Comptroller on accession; occ. as such in coronation list 24 June 1509 (LP, i, 82 p. 39).

Last occ. as such 22 Feb. 1516 (ibid., ii, 1578).

 

1509

Birkes, Thomas

Apparently app. Clerk of Green Cloth on accession; occ. as undesignated officer of counting house (probably Clerk of Green Cloth) in coronation list 24 June 1509 (LP, i, 82 p. 39).

Last occ. as Clerk of Green Cloth June 1514 (ibid. 3048).

 

By 1518

Hattelclyffe, Thomas

Occ. as Clerk of Green Cloth from Nov. 1518 to 16 Apr. 1536 (LP, ii, 58(10) p 1548; ibid. xvi, 394(5)).

Vac. by 1540 on app. as Master (O. Manning and W. Bray, History of Surrey (1804-14), ii, 564).

 

By 1518

Weldon, Edward

Occ. as Clerk of Green Cloth from 1518 to 16 Apr. 1536 (LP, ii, 58 (10) p. 1548; ibid. x, 674).

Probably vac. by 1540 on app. as Master (ibid. xvi, 394(5)).

 

By 1518

Vaux, Thomas

Occ. as Clerk Comptroller Nov. 1518 (LP, ii, app. 58 no. 10 p. 1548) .

Occ. as Clerk of Controlment 23 May 1531 (ibid. v, 278(36)).

Described himself as Clerk Comptroller in will 22 Dec. 1535 (Prob 11/25 f. 36); d. by 2 May 1536 (ibid.).

 

Note: This interpretation ignores occ. 10 June 1526 of Nicholas Hurleston and Edmund Peckham as Clerks of Green Cloth and Edward Weldon as Clerk Comptroller (LP, iv, app. 63).

 

By 1536

Thynne, William

Occ. as Clerk Comptroller 16 Apr. 1536 (LP, x, 674).

Probably vac. by 1540 on app. as Master (ibid. xvi, 394(5)).

 

1540

Gage, James

Occ. as Clerk of Green Cloth 1540 (LP, xvi, 394(5)).

Probably vac. by 7 1541 on app. as Master (ibid. 1488(4)).

 

1540

Sutton, James

Occ. as Clerk of Green Cloth 1540 (LP, xvi, 394(5)).

Occ. as such in funeral list 16 Feb. 1547 (LC 2/2 f. 28r).

 

1540

Pakenham, Robert

Occ. as Clerk Comptroller 1540 (LP, xvi, 394(5) - 'Peckham' (sic); 'The MS of William Dunche', Genealogist, n.s., xxx, 27).

Probably succ. James Gage as Clerk of Green Cloth; occ. as such in funeral list 16 Feb. 1547 (LC 2/2 f. 28r).

 

1540

Birkes, Anthony

Occ. as Clerk Comptroller 1540 (LP, xvi, 394(5)).

Occ. as such in funeral list 16 Feb. 1547 (LC 2/2 f. 28r).

 

c. 1541

Curson, Thomas

Probably succ. Robert Pakenham as Clerk Comptroller by 7 Dec. 1541; first occ. 1543 (LP, xviii(2), 530).

Occ. as such in funeral list 16 Feb. 1547 (LC 2/2 f. 28r).

 

Edward VI

1547

Sutton, James

Continued as Clerk of Green Cloth on accession; occ. in coronation list 20 Feb. 1547 (LC 2/3/1 p. 73).

Occ. in funeral list 8 Aug. 1553 (LC 2/4/1 f. 11r).

 

1547

Pakenham, Robert

Continued as Clerk of Green Cloth on accession; occ. in coronation list 20 Feb. 1547 (LC 2/3/1 p. 73).

D. in office 5 Sept. 1552 (Machyn's Diary, pp. 24-5; HP 1509-58 , ii, 47).

 

1547

Birkes, Anthony

Continued as Clerk Comptroller on accession; occ. in coronation list 20 Feb. 1547 (LC 2/3/1 p. 73).

 

1547

Curson, Thomas

Continued as Clerk Comptroller on accession; occ. in coronation list 20 Feb. 1547 (LC 2/3/1 p. 73).

Occ. in funeral list 8 Aug. 1553 (LC 2/4/1 f. 11r).

 

By 1553

Dodge, John

Probably succ. Robert Pakenham as Clerk of Green Cloth.

Occ. in funeral list 8 Aug. 1553 (LC 2/4/1 f. 11r).

 

By 1553

Birkenhead, Henry

Probably succ. Anthony Birkes as Clerk Comptroller.

Occ. in funeral list 8 Aug. 1553 (LC 2/4/1 f. 11r).

Mary

1553

Sutton, James

Continued as Clerk of Green Cloth on accession (E 101/428/17 f. 1).

D. in office; buried 7 Sept. 1554 (Machyn's Diary, pp. 67-8).

 

1553

Dodge, John

Continued as Clerk of Green Cloth on accession (E 101/428/17 f. 1).

 

1553

Boddy, John

App. Clerk of Green Cloth on accession (E 101/428/17 f. 1).

Last occ. 10 July 1558 (CPR 1557-8, p. 432).

 

1553

Curson, Thomas

Continued as Clerk Comptroller on accession (E 101/428/17 f. 1).

Last occ. 14 Aug. 1554 (CPR 1554-5, p. 191).

 

1553

Birkenhead, Henry

Continued as Clerk Comptroller on accession (E 101/428/17 f. 1).

Described himself as 'Clerk of Green Cloth' in will 16 Oct. 1558 (Prob 11/42A f. 17); d. by 15 Dec. 1558 (ibid.).

 

1553

Collyer, Henry

App. Clerk Comptroller on accession (E 101/428/17 f. 1).

Vac. by 27 June 1557 (CPR 1557-8, p. 252).

 

By 1558

Stonehouse, George

Occ. as Clerk of Green Cloth in funeral list 14 Dec. 1558 (LC 2/4/2 f. 20r).

 

By 1558

Weldon, Anthony

Occ. as Clerk of Green Cloth in funeral list 14 Dec. 1558 (LC 2/4/2 f. 20r).

 

By 1558

Skinner, John

Occ. as Clerk Comptroller in funeral list 14 Dec. 1558 (LC 2/4/2 f. 20r).

 

By 1558

Crane. Anthony

Occ. as Clerk Comptroller in funeral list 14 Dec. 1558 (LC 2/4/2 f. 20r).

 

Elizabeth I

1558

Stonehouse, George

Continued as Clerk of Green Cloth on accession; occ. in coronation list 15 Jan. 1559 (LC 2/4/3 p. 81).

Described himself as one of the Clerks of Green Cloth in will 8 July 1573 ) Prob 11/55 f. 33); d. 18 July 1573 (c 142/242/24(2)).

 

1558

Skinner, John

Promoted from Clerk Comptroller to Clerk of Green Cloth on accession; occ. in coronation list 15 Jan. 1559 (LC 2/4/3 p. 81).

Accounted (as such?) 30 Sept. 1567-30 Sept. 1568 (E 101/430/12).

[D. 16 Nov. 1571 (HP 1509-58, iii, 323)]

 

1558

Smallpage, Percival

App. Clerk of Green Cloth on accession; occ. in coronation list 15 Jan. 1559 (LC 2/4/3 p. 81).

Described himself as one of Clerks of Green Cloth in will 2 Feb. 1559 (Prob 11/42B f. 12); d. by 20 May 1559 (ibid.).

[D. 2 Feb. 1568 (sic) (E. Hatton, New View of London (1708), i, 143) ]

 

1558

Crane, Anthony

Continued as Clerk Comptroller on accession; occ. in coronation list 15 Jan. 1559 (LC 2/4/3 p. 81).

Accounted as such for Comptroller 30 Sept. 1568-30 Sept. 1569 (E 101/430/13).

Probably vac. on app. as Cofferer 1578.

 

1558

Weldon, Anthony

App. Clerk Comptroller on accession; occ. in coronation list 15 Jan. 1559 (LC 2/4/3 p . 81).

D. as Clerk of Green Cloth 11 Nov. 1573/5 Feb. 1574 (J. Thorpe, Registrum Roffense (1769), pp. 1004-6; Prob. 11/56 f. 5).

 

1558

Skeffington, Christopher

App. Clerk Comptroller on accession; occ. in coronation list 15 Jan. 1559 (LC 2/4/3 p. 81).

No further occ.

 

By 1567

Gage, James

Occ. as undesignated officer of counting house in subsidy roll 8 Mar. 1567 (E 179/69/82).

[?Will of Framfield, Sussex dated 20 Dec. 1569, proved 16 Oct. 1573 (Prob. 11/55 f. 31)]

 

By 1574

Abington, John

Occ. as Clerk Comptroller 22 June 1574 (CPR 1572-5, p. 243(1289)).

Occ. as undesignated officer of counting house (probably Clerk of Green Cloth) 8 July 1576 (E 179/69/93).

Probably vac. 1580 on app. as Cofferer.

 

By 1575

Smythe, Thomas

Occ. as Clerk of Green Cloth 18 Aug. 1575 (CPR 1572-5, p. 550(3233)).

 

By 1576

Lovell, Gregory

Occ. as undesignated officer of counting house (probably Clerk Comptroller) 8 July 1576 (E 179/69/93).

Probably vac. 1582 on app. as Cofferer.

 

By 1576

Trafford, Henry

Occ. as undesignated officer of counting house (probably Clerk Comptroller) 18 July 1576 (E 179/69/93).

Described himself as Clerk of Green Cloth in will 19 Feb. 1582 (Prob 11/68 f. 15); d. by 15 Apr. 1585 (ibid.).

By 1585

Horden, Alexander

Occ. as Clerk of Green Cloth 6 Aug. 1585 (Draft Calendar of Patent Rolls 1584-5, p. 250).

Described himself as Chief Clerk of Green Cloth in will 22 Mar. 1596 (Prob 11/89 f. 54). D. 17 Jan./17 June 1597 (ibid.).

 

By 1585

Kay, John

Occ. as Clerk Comptroller 27 Aug. 1585 (Draft Calendar of Patent Rolls 1584-5, pp. 84, 184).

Occ. as Clerk of Green Cloth 25 Apr. 1588 (CSPD Addenda 1580-1625, p. 250).

Possibly identical with JK whose will dated 7, proved 22 May 1589 (Prob 11/73 f. 48).

 

By 1588

Fowke, Bartholomew

Occ. as Clerk Comptroller 25 Apr. 1588 (CSPD Addenda 1580-1625, p. 250).

Occ. as undesignated officer of counting house (probably Clerk of Green Cloth) 10 Nov. 1590 (E 179/266/13), 29 Apr. 1602 (E 179/70/115).

Occ. as Master in funeral list 28 Apr. 1603 (LC 2/4/4 f. 37r).

 

By 1588

Payne, Nicholas

Occ. as Clerk Comptroller 25 Apr. 1588 (CSPD Addenda 1580-1625, p. 250 - 'Mich.' (sic) Payne); as undesignated officer of counting house (probably Clerk Comptroller) 10 Nov. 1590 (E 179/266/13), c.1592-3 (Lansdowne MS 69 f. 163).

 

By 1592

Quarles, James

Occ. as undesignated officer of counting house (probably Clerk Comptroller) c. 1592-3 (Lansdowne MS 69 f. 163); as Clerk Comptroller 1596 (ibid. 80 no. 33).

Occ. as undesignated officer of counting house (probably Clerk of Green Cloth) 22 Oct. 1598 (E 179/70/107).

D. as Clerk of Green Cloth 25 Sept. 1599 (Visitations of Essex, pt. i, (Harleian Society, 1878), xiii, 273).

 

By 1594

Browne, Richard

Occ. as Clerk Comptroller 10 Dec. 1594 (Essex Record Office (Colchester), D/Y 2/6. p. 25 Colchester corporation to Mr. Richard Browne, Clerk Comptroller of HM Household); 1596 (Lansdowne MS 80 no. 33); as undesignated officer of counting house (probably Clerk Comptroller) 22 Oct. 1598 (E 179/70/115).

Occ. as undesignated officer of counting house (probably Clerk of Green Cloth) 29 Apr. 1602 (E 179/70/115).

Occ. as Clerk of Green Cloth in funeral list 28 Apr. 1603 (LC 2/4/4 f. 37r).

 

By 1598

Vernon, Robert

Occ. as undesignated officer of counting house (probably Clerk Comptroller) 22 Oct. 1598 (E 179/70/107).

Occ. as Clerk Comptroller in funeral list 28 Apr. 1603 (LC 2/4/4 f. 37r).

 

By 1602

Holt, Anthony

Occ. as undesignated officer of counting house (probably Clerk Comptroller) 29 Apr. 1602 (E 179/70/115).

D. as Clerk Comptroller 1 Mar. 1603 (O. Manning and W. Bray, History of Surrey (1804-14), iii, 308).

 

1603

Darrell, Marmaduke

Probably succ. Anthony Holt as Clerk Comptroller 1603.

Occ. as such in funeral list 28 Apr. 1603 (LC 2/4/4 f. 37r).

James I

1603

Browne, Richard (Ktd. 24 July 1603)

Probably continued as Clerk of Green Cloth on accession.

D. May 1604 (HP 1558-1603, i, 504).

 

1603

Vernon, Robert (Ktd. 24 July 1603)

Probably continued as Clerk Comptroller on accession.

Occ. as Clerk of Green Cloth 28 May 1604 (LS 13/168 f. 73r).

Vac. by 1605 on app. As Master.

 

1603

Darrell, Marmaduke (Ktd. 24 July 1603)

Probably continued as Clerk Comptroller on accession.

Occ. as Clerk of Green Cloth 28 May 1604 (LS 13/168 f. 73r).

Occ. as undesignated officer of counting house (probably Clerk of Green Cloth) 15 Apr. 1605 (E 179/70/121), 19 Apr. 1608 (E 179/70/122); as Clerk of Green Cloth c. 1608 (Add. MS 28604 f. 21).

Probably vac. Mar. 1610 on app. as Master.

 

1603

Cox, Richard (Ktd. 24 July 1603)

Probably app Clerk Comptroller on accession; occ. as such 24 July 1603 (Shaw, Knights, ii, 127); as undesignated officer of counting house (probably Clerk Comptroller) 15 Apr. 1605 (E 179/70/121), 19 Apr. 1608 (E 179/70/122); as Clerk Comptroller c. 1608 (Add. MS 28604 f. 21).

Occ. as Clerk of Green Cloth 6 Jan. 1617 (LS 13/168 f. 185r).

Apparently vac. on app. as Master (LS 13/6).

 

By 1604

Weldon, Sir Ralph, Kt.

Occ. as Clerk Comptroller 28 May 1604 (LS 13/168 f. 37r).

Occ. as undesignated officer of counting house (probably Clerk of Green Cloth) 15 Apr. 1605 (E 179/70/121), 19 Apr. 1608 (E 179/70/122); as Clerk of Green Cloth c. 1608 (Add. 28604 f. 21).

D. in office 12 Nov. 1609 (J. Thorpe, Registrum Roffense (1769), p. 1003).

 

By 1604

Banaster, Robert (Ktd. 29 Apr. 1605)

Occ. as Clerk Comptroller 14 Mar. 1604 (CSPD 1603-10, p. 88); as undesignated officer of counting house (probably Clerk Comptroller) 15 Apr. 1605 (E 179/70/121); as Clerk Comptroller 25 Apr. 1607 (CSPD 1603-10, p. 371); as undesignated officer of counting house (probably Clerk Comptroller) 19 Apr. 1608 (E 179/70/122); as Clerk Comptroller c. 1608 (Add MS 28604 f. 21).

Occ. Clerk of Green Cloth 1610 (BL Harl. MS 1857 f. 22r).

Probably vac. 17 July 1615 on admission as Master (LS 13/6).

 

By 1610

Leigh, Sir John, Kt.

Occ. as Clerk Comptroller 1610 (Har. MS 1857 f. 22r).

Occ. as Clerk of Green Cloth 6 Jan. 1617 (LS 13/168 f. 185r).

D. in office by 19 Aug. 1624 (CSPD 1623-5, p. 328).

 

By 1615

Parry, John

Described himself as Clerk of Green Cloth in will 4 Aug. 1615 (Prob 11/126 f. 75); d. by 10 Aug. 1615 (ibid.).

 

By 1617

Merry, Thomas (Ktd. 18 Apr. 1617)

Occ. as Clerk Comptroller 6 Jan. 1617 (LS 13/168 f. 185r).

Occ. as Clerk of Green Cloth in funeral list 20 May 1625 (LC 2/6 f. 27r).

 

By 1617

Bell, Henry

Occ. as Clerk Comptroller 6 Jan. 1617 (LS 13/168 f. 185r).

 

By 1623

Weldon, Sir Anthony, Kt.

Clerk Comptroller; vac. by 1 Oct. 1623 (LS 13/251 p. 9).

 

1623

Harvey, Simon (Ktd. 3 Oct. 1623)

App. Clerk Comptroller 1 Oct. 1623 in place of Sir Anthony Weldon (LS 13/251 p. 9).

Occ. as such in funeral list 20 May 1625 (LC 2/6 f. 27r).

 

1624

Browne, Anthony (Ktd. 26 Sept. 1624)

App. Clerk Comptroller 11 Sept. 1624 (LS 13/6).

Occ. as such in funeral list 20 May 1625 (LC 2/6 f. 27r).

Displaced on accession of Charles I (LS 13/168 f. 272r).

[Reappointed 3 Nov. 1638]

 

By 1625

Vernon, Sir Robert, Kt.

Occ. as Clerk of Green Cloth in funeral list 20 May 1625 (LC 2/6 f. 27r).

Displaced on accession of Charles I (LS 13/168 f. 272r).

 

Charles I

1625

Merry, Sir Thomas, Kt.

Probably continued as Clerk of Green Cloth on accession; occ. as such in subsidy list 4 Car. I (1628-9) (E 179/70/145).

Last occ. 26 Jan. 1643 (LS 13/169).

 

1625

Harvey, Sir Simon, Kt.

Probably promoted from Clerk Comptroller to Clerk of Green Cloth on accession; occ. as such in subsidy list 4 Car. I (1628-9) (E 179/70/145).

D. in office 1 Dec. 1628 (LS 13/251 p. 25; Court and Times of Charles I, ed. T. Birch (1848), i, 450).

 

1625

Manley, Richard (Ktd. 27 Jan. 1629)

Formerly Clerk Comptroller to Charles as Prince (LC 2/6 f. 66r); probably transferred in same capacity to service of Charles as King on accession; occ. as such in subsidy list 4 Car. I (1628-9) (E 179/70/145).

Promoted Clerk of Green Cloth 16 Jan. 1629 on d. of Sir Simon Harvey (LS 13/251 p. 25).

Last occ. 26 Jan. 1643 (LS 13/169).

 

1625

Price, Fowke

Formerly Clerk Comptroller to Charles as Prince (LC 2/6 f. 66r); probably transferred in same capacity to service of Charles as King on accession; occ. as such in subsidy list 4 Car. I (1628-9) (E 179/70/145).

D. by 2 Sept. 1638 (LS 13/251 p. 105).

 

1629

Rawlins, William

App. Clerk Comptroller 16 Jan. 1629 in place of Richard Manley (LS 13/251 p. 25).

D. 15 Feb./20 Mar. 1633 (ibid. p. 67; CSPD 1631-3, p. 270).

 

1633

Knollys, Henry (Ktd. 21 Apr. 1633)

Probably app. Clerk Comptroller c. 20 Mar. 1633 in place of William Rawlins (LS 13/251 p. 67; CSPD 1631-3, p. 270).

D. in office 9 Oct. 1638 (ibid. p. 107; Complete Baronetage, ii, 170).

 

1638

Fenn, Robert (Ktd. 9 Aug. 1641)

App. Clerk Comptroller 2 Sept. 1638 in place of Fowke Price (LS 13/251 p. 105).

Last occ. 26 Jan. 1643 (LC 13/169).

[Readmitted 25 June 1660 (LS 13/7 f. 1)]

 

1638

Browne, Sir Anthony, Kt.

Formerly Clerk Comptroller to James I; right to next vacancy confirmed 2 Sept. 1638 (LS 13/251 p. 105); app. Clerk Comptroller 3 Nov. 1638 in place of Sir Henry Knollys (ibid. p. 107).

Last occ. 20 Oct. 1642 (LS 13/169).

Footnotes

Notes

1

A.R. Myers, The Household of Edward IV (Manchester, 1959), pp. 154-6; Household Ordinances, (1790), p.140.

2

Household Ordinances, pp. 166, 228-31; LP, xvi, 394(5). A.P. Newton, however, states that this development took place 'about 1533' ('Tudor Reforms in the Royal Household', Tudor Studies presented to A.F. Pollard, ed. R.W. Seton-Watson (1924), p. 248).

3

E 101/428/17 f. 1; 2/4/2 f. 20r.

4

LC 2/4/3 p. 81; CSPD Addenda 1580-1625, p. 250.

5

LP, xvi, 394(5).

 

 

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